Following hard on the heels of the launch of its Victoria’s Island Trail to celebrate the appearance of the Victoria & Abdul movie, Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has now published a new Literary Heroes Trail which visitors to the Island can follow all-year-round.
One of the highlights of the Literary Heroes Trail is the newly re-opened Farringford in Freshwater, where the renowned poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson once lived (https://farringford.co.uk).
The dramatic Gothic house has been the subject of a meticulous five-year restoration project, and is decorated in a late 19th Century style that reflects Tennyson’s tastes and interests. The grounds have also been returned to their authentic Tennyson-era appearance, complete with a full walled garden.
Other key locations on the Trail include the sailing village of Seaview, where author Enid Blyton was a regular visitor; and the traditional seaside resort of Ventnor, where Charles Dickens rented Winterbourne in Bonchurch - describing it to his wife as, “The prettiest place I ever saw in my life.”
Author Lynne Truss - a regular visitor to the Island - edited the new Literary Heroes Trail leaflet. “I’m not the first writer to be inspired by this jewel of an island,” she says. “Writers have breathed the air here, walked the cliffs and gazed at the glittering sea - and then dashed home to put pen to paper.”
Continuing the rich literary tradition of the island, the latest Isle of Wight Literary Festival (taking place from October 12 to 15) once again offers a diverse programme - with speakers ranging from poets, politicians, historians, biographers, journalists, fiction writers, award-winning authors, actors and scientists. The event is mainly based at Northwood House, a Grade II* manor house set in 20 acres of parkland in the heart of Cowes. (http://isleofwightliteraryfestival.com).
The launch of the trail follows the success of the Isle of Wight’s Victoria’s Island Trail, which was created specially to celebrate the release of major feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ in cinemas. Victoria’s Island Trail includes well-known places the Queen loved as well as lesser known locations that reveal deep connections between the Royals and the Island.
Both Trails are designed for anyone with an interest in a bygone era – an era which proved to be especially golden for the Isle of Wight; and find out why the Island continues to influence a whole new generation of authors.
Visitors can use the Literary Heroes Trail to navigate their way around the Island using an interactive map, and pick-and-choose from a host of Island hotspots linked to the literary greats; from secluded villages and hamlets, to bustling seaside towns.
The trail also reveals some of its own, home-grown talent, including Oscar winning screenwriter Anthony Minghella who wrote The English Patient.